LOTS AND LOTS (RHYMING CHILDREN BEDTIME STORIES)

Written by Peter Collier

Lots and Lots pic

What a refreshing collection of amusing short stories written in rhyme! This collection is very different from the typical bedtime fairytale or animal story. I especially like the fact that the featured character is a very bright little girl named Frances Nicolson, who just can’t stop asking questions. She inquiries about common everyday activities like baking a cake without a recipe and using the wrong kind of pebble as a skipping stone. Frances questions her neighbor about the funny words he uses like, “Hunky Dory” and “old curmudgeon.” She refuses to believe in tales like the Loch Ness Monster because they can’t be proven. Her imagination is unlimited: Frances uses her own backyard to go on an African safari, have tea with kings and queens, and climb the world’s highest mountain.

Frances’ curiosity is insatiable. Some of her questions include:

Do you have any bellybuttons?
If chickens are boneless, how could they walk?
What’s the difference between hunks and chunks?

When the circus came to town, Frances had all sorts of questions for the clowns like what is the reason for their baggy pants and why don’t they get dizzy from standing upside down all the time. Frances has a friend named Susan Jane who has a habit of exaggerating the truth. That exasperates Frances because she just has to have the right answer! There is only one time when Frances is quiet. Can you guess when?

The bottom line of this enticing book is that you cannot learn without asking questions. That might be annoying to parents and teachers, at times, but it is the way all children enrich their minds. Collier is to be commended for a clever story line and a character who represents a wonderful role model for children.

MONSTER MELANGE

Monsters I Know (Rhyming Bedtime Stories

Written and illustrated by Peter Collier

MonstersIKnow, picThis book would make a delightful Halloween read. The types of monsters are unorthodox and most of them are not very scary! First, the reader encounters The Big Foote Belly Button Lint monster. He lives at the feet of Thomas Mcfee’s bed. It began as some belly button lint and grows bigger every day eating only colored string. There is a Hungry Tree who walks about eating farm animals, the Smelly Kiss, Smelly Sam stomach gasses monster, a Spaghetti Dinner Monster, and the Dead End Rubbish monster.

Perhaps the scariest is the cursed School Chair monster.
The author describes it as,

“One moment you’re there
and the next you’ll be gone;”

The Jones family certainly lived to regret not getting rid of The Fridge. I won’t give away its secrets except to say,

“No one goes near it anymore:
Never will anyone open its door;
All it does now is snarl and snore.”

Children age six and up will love the absurdity and the silliness in these rhymes, although some of the vocabulary will not be understood by younger readers This kind of slapstick humor is especially appealing to middle grade boys. Although the concepts are clever, the rhymes are sometimes a bit forced. There are some issues with punctuation and line placement. In this kindle version, the illustrations are very small. Larger pictures would have added a lot more to the desired effect of the tales. On the other hand, if you are looking for a very different and funny Halloween book of short tales, this one will surely fit the bill.

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